Reflections on 2016

When I first started thinking back about 2016 I really didn’t feel like I had accomplished all that much, so I wrote down some of the things that I had achieved and it still didn’t feel like much at all:

  • completed and launched 5 new websites
  • started on another 4 websites (with 1 of those now ready to launch and another almost there)
  • completed training to become an Evernote Certified Consultant

Then I looked back on the focus words I had set for myself for 2016 – consolidation, clarity and connection – and realised that I really have come a long way.

The beginning

When I first decided to start my own business, early in 2015, I really had no idea what I was going to do. I just knew I wanted to get out of the corporate world and create something for myself that would allow me to travel, that I would enjoy doing, and could continue doing for as long as I wanted – as opposed to the ‘norm’ of enduring the 9 to 5 grind until that magical day when you’re supposed to ‘retire’ and start enjoying life and doing all those things you’ve always wanted to do.

After a few false starts, I sorta fell into doing web design, after finding WordPress and Divi (a very versatile theme that I use as the basis for my designs) and a whole new community of people that help and support each other in this sphere. I found it was the perfect blend of tech and creativity. I’d spent the past 20-odd years working in more techie roles but had always been drawn to the web and all the possibilities it presented. So back to my 2016 focus words:

  • Consolidation – this was a focus on bringing together all of the things that I had learnt so far, both in my IT career and what I had been learning about online business
  • Clarity – this focussed on gaining a better understanding of myself, my strengths and the direction I wanted to take in my business going forward
  • Connection – I needed to get myself out there more, connecting with like-minded people and forming business collaborations, both online and in person (I’m an introvert, so this is not something that comes easily to me)

When I look back on 2016 now, in these contexts, then I do feel like I have achieved quite a lot. I’ve consolidated my skills and knowledge, and I’m much clearer in my business direction. I have also attended lots of networking events and have formed some great ongoing relationships including some awesome collaborations which will be central to my business plans this year.

On a more personal front, 2016 had a difficult start after the loss of my brother to melanoma at the end of 2015. So it took some time to generate any enthusiasm for doing anything much at all. Then came the enormous task of moving my parents into an aged care village and selling the old family home. The reality of this didn’t really sink in until a couple of months later, when I was sent a photo of the cleared block after the old house had been ripped down; it certainly stirred up some emotions. I must say the highlight of the year has been being able to come back over to Melbourne/Geelong knowing that I can continue to ‘work’, while being able to now, finally, spend some more time with my parents. And of course the 3500 km road trip across the Nullarbor to get here!

Renewed focus for 2017

Looking forward, I have decided my new focus words for 2017 (I’m not sure why, but yes, more words starting with c!):

Courage, Creativity and Commitment

  • Courage – to take my consolidated and clarified dreams forward while rolling with the inevitable ups and downs, and to put myself ‘out there’ more
  • Creativity – one thing I realised quite recently was that I have always seen myself as more of a left-brained person (I like systems, lists, understand code, etc) – but I now know that I am equally right-brained, and I need to embrace that side of myself (and have the courage to share what I create!)
  • Commitment – to be committed to taking the steps needed every day to achieve my goals

I have so many ideas for the things I want to create for my business, and my first intention – and I’ll commit to it right here – is to get those ideas out of my head and share them here on the blog, with at least bi-weekly posts. Please feel free to share your intentions for 2017 in the comments below…

Wishing you a Happy, Prosperous, and Courageous New Year!

Cheers! Gabes x

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